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Is My Computer Running 32-Bit-or 64-Bit Windows?

Windows 7 32 bit and 64 bit is compatible accordingly

While nearly every computer on the market today is running 64-bit, there are still some that might be stuck on the good ole’ 32-bit Windows. It could be that your computer can’t support 64-bit Windows, or it could be it wasn’t available at the time. And, since 32-bit applications (almost) always work on 64-bit hardware, it could be that a 32-bit operating system was wrongly installed. Whatever the case may be, here is how to find out what you are running.

Note: This article has been updated to include Windows 8 too.

Windows 7

Click the Start Menu.  Then right click Computer and Select Properties.

access my computer properties in windows 7

The System information page will come up. On the right-side Scroll down until you see System Type. Listed under System Type will be either 32 or 64-bit Operating System.

find 64-bit or 32-bit version of windows 7

Windows 8

In Windows 8 there’s a few ways to do it, but the easiest is to use the keyboard shortcut Windows Key + X to bring up the power user menu and click System. You can do this from either the modern Start screen or the desktop.

Windows 8 Power User Menu

That will bring up the System window so you can see the System type.

Windows 8 System Type

Now you know if you are running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7 or 8. With this knowledge you can plan ahead when downloading software and get the version most appropriate for your system.

Things to remember:

  • Most 32-bit applications will work on a 64-bit system
  • 64-bit applications will NOT work on a 32-bit system
  • If you have 64-bit computer, use 64-bit programs whenever possible – they’ll run faster because they can take advantage of your 64-bit processor
Related Article:  Windows Phone 8.1 Tip: Display the Weather Directly in the Calendar

If you’re interested in finding out exactly what version (build) of Windows 7 you are running, check out this groovy guide.

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3 Responses to Is My Computer Running 32-Bit-or 64-Bit Windows?

  1. William December 27, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    My Windows 7 is 32 bit. I have a 64 bit CD. Can I upgrade from 32 to 64 bit without reinstalling all my programmes?

    • Austin Krause August 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      Nope. I did some testing with this. It is technically possible, but the amount of work it takes is more than it would be to reinstall all of your programs 10 times over.

  2. Paul April 29, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Here’s a interesting fact: I was recently using a program on my 64-Bit Windows 7 Laptop and got an error that this particular program required the use of 32 bit Internet Explorer. I believe this program actually hinted that I needed to install a 32 bit operating system to resolve the problem. However, after some digging around, I found that my 64 bit machine has both 64 bit and 32 bit flavors on IE installed on the machine (found on the start menu of my machine). I guess MS does that for just this kind of contingency.

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